A new travel route back to Montana required a longer drive to designated airport (two + hours to Manchester instead of the 30 minutes to regional airport), and my flight left at 6 a.m., so Mike suggested we head to Chatsworth for the afternoon on Sunday, which was sort of close to Manchester. It was a fantastic outing, a little escape before the long journey back.
Chatsworth has belonged to the Cavendish family since the 1500s - 16 generations - a country estate encompassing 1,000 acres of gentle hills, situated in the Peak District of the UK. Because of Covid, the access to the house was “limited” in both what rooms were open and capacity of visitors. The acres around the gated grounds appeared less limited and had both many groups of walkers and sheep grazing idyllically. They had great hand washing stations set up near the estate (with warm water) and staff controlling numbers of people into snack stands, the garden, etc.
The house has a lot of collections! Art through the years - it was nice to see modern works interspersed with the classics as well as the portraits of dead people. The Duke and Duchess of Devon also have a fondness for ceramic artists and there were nice assortment of ceramics in specific installations or in ancient fireplaces.
The expansive gardens were my favorite. Cottage Garden, Kitchen Garden, a formal maze (closed due to pandemic), and also the grounds had more naturalized woodsy areas. Definitely a place for the wealthy to escape crowded cities in the past, and today a little day escape for more average people. I think approaching this one like a grand museum visit is correct!
Mike’s been into the Peak District a few times but I had not. I hope we can go back together for a long weekend and explore some more! Many miles of pathways to traverse everywhere...